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he says :- I imagine no one was very sanguine about future north-west passages, even should we contrive to make one ourselves.'-(p. 464.) In another place, speaking of the same subject, he says,- of which, if I mistake not, we now know as much as is soon likely to be known, and far more than will ever be of any use.'—(p. 539.) Being asked by the committee :— From your experience of those seas, do you conceive that any further attempt to discover the North-West Passage would be attended with great danger?' he replies; 'I do.' "And if successful would it be attended with any public benefit?'- I believe it would be utterly useless.' The committee might have gone further and asked him—. If this be your opinion, what did you go for?' But Captain Beaufort, on whose character as an able and in the highest sense scientific navigator we need not enlarge, and Commander Ross, who had passed 'fourteen summers and eight winters' in the Arctic seas, and been with Parry on every voyage, were also examined. Captain Beaufort was asked,
“Do you consider that the closing up of Prince Regent's Inlet narrows the range with which a north-west passage may be found within a short compass ?-It only narrows it by one of the openings.-Does not it narrow the opening to something above 74° north latitude ?-There are several openings from the end of Lancaster Sound ; Prince Regent's Julet was one of them; by closing that Captain Ross has removed one of the probable means of getting to the westward ; but there are three still open, in which success is just as likely as in the other.— Will you specify their names ?-One is going out by the Wellington channel to the north-west, that is, going to the north ward of the chain of islands discovered by Captain Parry, and approximating the Pole; another, proceeding by Melville Island in the same direction that Captain Parry previously tried; and the third would be by getting to the south-west as soon as the vessel has passed the cape which Captain Ross supposes to the northern extreme of America, and then endeavouring to get over to the shore laid down by Captain Franklin and Dr. Richardson; all those three are still open to future enterprise.—Do you consider that the closing of the most southerly outlet closes that supposed to be most likely to be practicable ?-No; for that is not the route I should have taken if employed on that service.'Evid. p. 22.
Commander Ross was asked,
• You do not think the voyage has furnished any conclusion against the existence of a north-west passage ?-No; it has made it still more certain than it was before that a north-west passage must erist.– Upon what observations made in the last voyage
you ground that opinion ?-From the additional portion of the outline of the continent of America explored upon this occasion, on the northern coast of Ame. rica and the western coast of Boothia.-Do you believe that it would
be practicable to go through that north-western passage ?- There is no question that it would be much more easy, now that we are acquainted with the nature of the formation of the continent of America. -Would it be best accomplished by steam or by sailing ?-By sailing. -Supposing this to be accomplished, would it be at all beneficial to commerce ?-It is quite uncertain what benefits may result from it; in favourable seasons it may be possible to get through it with very little difficulty ; for instance, on our last voyage we sailed on an open sea, where it is usually covered with ice; but it was a remarkably favourable season ; such seasons may occur periodically; if so, there would be no difficulty on those occasions in getting from Baffin's Bay to Behring's Straits. Do you believe that any attempt to penetrate would be attended with danger ?-Nothing more than the ordinary danger of navigating the Northern Seas.'-Evid. p. 27.
With regard to geographical information, which, we apprehend, was one principal object of Sir John Ross's expedition, his chart, as all charts are meant to do, ought to elucidate his text, and vice versa. But here the
very few names which appear in the text are not to be found in the chart, nor do any of those multitudes which blacken the chart occur in the text—both text and chart, therefore, are rendered wholly useless for the guidance of the reader. The names assigned by Commander Ross, on his two important journeys are—with one or two exceptions-obliterated from the Captain's chart, and replaced by those of more dignified personages; still not a word even about them appears in the text. As a curiosity we will give a few of these. In the first place we bave · The Magnetic Pole of William IV.,' and · Cape Adelaide,' to neither of which can there be the least objection-on the contrary ;-Capes Cumberland, Gloucester, Sussex, and Cambridge, might also be allowed to stand ;-then we have Clarence Islands, consisting of eight, Munster, Falkland, Erskine, Adolphus, Fox, Frederick, Augustus, and Errol—with Capes Sophia, Sidney, and Mary. Then comes a whole host of foreigners, who, we conceive, have no business there :-Louis Philip (sic),—Capes Nicholas, Carl XIV.-Johan, Francis II., Frederick VI., Alexandra, Maria Louisa, Maria (da) Gloria—and Joshephine (sic) Bay! To which may be added, Lieven, Esterhazy, and many others, not one of which, except the name of his present majesty, is mentioned in the text.
Again ; we find in the text a great number of native names, some of them hard enough, such as Too-noul-lead, Tar-rio-nityoke, Ac-cood-le-ruk-tuk, &c. &c., pointed out by the natives, who accompanied our countrymen on their journeys, not one of which, except that of Shagavoke, at the head of an inlet of the isthmus, is inserted in the chart, so that the narrative itself of these travels is rendered almost wholly useless, by the utter inability of knowing,
on any given occasion, whereabouts the traveller is. The name of Neit-chillee is fifty times repeated as a very important place, but we may as well look for a needle in a bottle of hay, as for Neit-chillee on the chart. It is, in short, very generally suspected, that the interests of geography have been sacriticed to considerations of no very lofty character-among others, to the expectation of gold snuff-boxes, ribbons, and the like baubles, from foreign potentates—and yet the Royal Geographical Society of London, which certainly owes not one iota of information to Sir John Ross, out of pure compassion we suppose, bestowed upon him the King's medal of fifty guineas !
The Captain has been censured for placing the name of King William on or near the spot of the magnetic pole, because he could not have known of the accession of his present Majesty until long afterwards ;- but what of that? He had the full right at any time, before the chart was published, to bestow what nan pleased on particular points—and he has not been sparing in the exercise of that right. We have, however, a charge of a rather different nature to prefer against him, and one which he certainly ought to explain, if he can, and if he has the slightest value for his own character as a surveyor, a geographer, and a navigator. We understand that in the original chart of Commander Ross, which either is or was in the Admiralty, the Clarence Islands of the book chart, (which the Commander discovered, and named Beaufort's Islands as a well-deserved compliment to the hydrographer of the Admiralty,) consist of three,* and three only-and that the other five in the book chart are, like the Croker Mountains, nonentities. As to the motives of so unparalleled a deception, we shall hazard no guess. Sir John Ross bimself never saw even those three existing islands.
The Knight has made another most extraordinary discovery that of a fact unequalled in modern times, and, we believe, but once in days of yore-namely, when Pharaoh and his host were drowned in the Red Sea; he has actually built up a wall of water ! and as it is made to serve as one of the grounds on which he presumes there can be no North-West Passage, we will let him speak for himself. Great preparation must evidently have been made for putting the questions in this part of his examination, in the course of which he puzzled both himself and the committee; the latter somewhat abruptly ask him,
• Did you observe the difference in the altitude of the two seas east
* The three existing islands are those named in the Captain's chart Adolphus, Frederick, and Augustus: • Three low islands,' says Commander Ross, situated about ten miles to the northward of our present position (near Parry’s Port), were named Beaufort Islands,'--(p. 413.)
and west of Boothia Felix ?-Yes. Do you draw any conclusion from that difference of altitude which bears on the subject of the NorthWest Passage ?-I consider it to be negative.--You consider it a presumption ?-Yes, a presumption that there is no such passage, but not a proof.—What was the difference?—The difference is thirteen feet. -Upon the supposition that the land is continuous northward from the seventy-fourth degree to the pole, -[A most extraordinary supposition of the learned member, since the contrary has been proved] -should you expect to find that difference of altitude in the seas ?-I should certainly, from the rotative!!! [rotary] motion of the earth.'—Evid.
The committee, having in the mean time examined Commander Ross, asked the Captain, on a subsequent day,
. You stated, among other reasons you gave for believing that there was no North-West Passage practicable, that there was a difference of the altitude of the two seas east and west of the Isthmus which unites Boothia with the continent of America ?-Yes; I was the only officer there ; Commander Ross had no opportunity of ascertaining it; it was while he was on other services; it was when I went with the provisions to him I ascertained that; in two years, in June, 1830, and the end of May, 1831.--The observations made at two different times both led you to the same result ?-Yes. Have you any doubt upon that ?—Not at all; I measured it with the theodolite in the usual way; the process becomes very simple, and incapable of error to those who understand it. There is a difference, is there not, in the altitude of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans on the east and west sides of the Isthmus of Darien ?-[Here again the learned member commits a blunder-there are no east and west sides of the Isthmus of Darien-it lies east and west.]—I have heard there is, and the Red Sea and the Mediterranean also, there is eight feet rise and fall of tide on the east side of those isthmuses, and only fourteen inches on the west side; I tried that at the time ; I broke a hole in the ice for the purpose.'-Ib. P.
32. What he means by 'those isthmuses,' we are completely at a loss to discover-equally so, what the hole in the ice' was for; but as water was, heretofore, in the habit of finding its own level, and as the same water flows round the Boothian peninsula—the thirteen feet wall, being, notwithstanding the rotative motion of the earth, a physical impossibility, we can only conclude it to have been a miracle, for the sole purpose of stopping the Captain in his not otherwise supernatural career. We must not, however, omit the evidence of Commander Ross on the same point :
• Are you aware of the fact, that the two seas, right and left of the jsthmus which unites Boothia with the continent of America, are of different altitude ?-No, I am not; nor had we the means of ascertaining the fact with accuracy; it would take at least two or three months to ascertain it with the accuracy such an observation would require.--You have no reason to suppose such a thing ?---None whatever ; no,
I never heard of it till this moment.—Has Captain Ross never told you that he had ascertained that to be the fact ?-Captain Ross may have made observations which have satisfied his mind, but I doubt whether he can have made observations that wonld satisfy the minds of those who may investigate the matter.'-—Ib. p. 27.
So the whole of this levelling process, with the theodolite in the usual way,' &c. and the result thereof, were carefully concealed from Commander Ross and bottled up solely for the use of the Committee! Well might the Commander be taken by surprise ; but we have no doubt-can any one doubt ?—that the average difference in the altitudes of the Atlantic and Pacific, on the north and south sides of the Isthmus of Darien or Panama, ascertained by Mr. Lloyd after two years' labour, instead of two days, to be thirteen feet, furnished the data, and the only data, for the thirtecn feet between the two sides of the Isthmus of Boothia?—those isthmuses' being as like to each other, as the two rivers of Monmouth and Macedon.
But worse remains behind.' We are, indeed, utterly at a loss to comprehend what evil genius could have urged on the gallant Captain to stumble, once more, on those fatal mountains on which he suffered shipwreck in the year 1818. Had he no friend at his elbow? or rather, did he put himself into the hands of some injudicious and indiscreet friend, (query? the one already alluded to ?) who thus has driven him to pronounce his own condemnation from his own mouth ? Nature ,night have made a range of mountains across Lancaster Sound, and Ross might have imagined that he saw them ; but nature never exacts physical impossibilities from human beings : Ross, however, finds no difficulty in performing that which is physically impossible. We read with perfect astonishment the following extract:
• Having, as I have already noticed, left the chest of minerals near a notable cairn, as being too heavy for us to carry farther, I must here point out its latitude as 73° 51'; that having been deduced from two meridian altitudes of the sun. The mountain, therefore, which I formerly mentioned as being situated at this place,-[that which he calls the north-east point of America,]-lies between the latitudes of 73° 53' and 74° north ; and as its longitude is 90° west, it occupies the place at which I had marked Croker's Mountain in 1818. I can, therefore, have no doubt that the land on which I now stood was the same that I had seen in my first voyage, and which I had been able to observe very distinctly from the vicinity of the mountain to which I then gave the name of Hope's Monument.'—p. 671.
When a prudent man gets into a scrape, he suffers the memory thereof silently to die away, mindful of a certain old proverb about stirring, &c.; or, which is better, openly avows his error, and thus disarms censure. Had the Captain, now that he must